Olga Bueno, Co-Founder of TuCuentas.com, in many ways epitomizes the Hispanic digital entrepreneur. A few years ago, Bueno saw that “Hispanics lack an online venue made for them, where they interact with other Latinos and learn from their experiences with a variety of products and services.” So she created TúCuentas.com, Bueno tells Portada all about it below.
Portada interviews Olga Bueno, Co-Founder TU CUENTAS, LLC.
Portada: How did Tucuentas.com come about?
O.B:“Earlier in my career I noticed that my clients (big U.S. corporations) reached Latinos mainly via TV and print, with very limited online efforts. Nevertheless, research at that time indicated that Latinos were already online. But they seemed to lack an online venue made for them, where they could interact with other Latinos and learn from their experiences with a variety of products and services. So, we created Tú Cuentas as a venue where Latinos could speak up and learn from other Latinos. Tú Cuentas has a double meaning in Spanish “You count” and “You tell”.
Portada: What is the business model behind Tucuentas.com?
O.B: “From the beginning, we did not want to be associated with any particular brand. So we created our platform for our members to share their opinions and tell us anything – positive or negative. As a result, we do not offer advertising on our site. We make money by using our most precious asset, honesty from our members. This translates into market research for companies: online surveys, discussion forums, poll questions, private online communities and online ethnographies. Our members speak up on our site as they would with their friends, because they see us not as a company, but as a friend. We in turn reward them with points that can be exchanged for amazon gift cards or PayPal credits.”
Portada: What pages get more visits on Tucuentas.com , English or Spanish and why?
O.B: “Definitely the Spanish pages. Our membership skews towards Spanish preferred. We see that the Spanish speaking population is particularly underserved in the online communities sector and we want to cover that gap.”
Portada: How do you recruit/build your audience?
O.B: “We started building our audience using Google AdWords and Facebook Ads (mainly in Spanish). Additionally, we have a feature in our online community that allows us to track referrals from members and automatically assigned them points as a token of appreciation. When we need to recruit a specific demographic, we use both online ads and member referrals.”
Portada: Why are you looking for finance and for how much?
O.B: “We built www.tucuentas.com with no outside funding. We created a site that works, an engaged membership and have a proven track record of satisfied clients including Xoom and Grupo Gallegos among others. In order for us to grow, we need outside funding to add more features to the site, increase our database and dedicate efforts to business development.”
Portada: What would your ideal investor in Tucuentas.com be?
O.B: “Our ideal investor would be a market research company looking to expand their services to include the Spanish-speaking U.S. Hispanic Market. This would allow us to leverage our expertise and valuable tool with a larger client base.”